The World as we know is passing away
Happy are you who are poor
The words in the first reading for today were written by the Apostle Paul in his first letter to the community of Corinth about 50 AD. Even though it was written so long ago it almost seems to echo what is happening in our present situation. “The world as we know it is passing away” says Paul to the community in Corinth. Maybe that saying has more punch for us now in the twenty first century as we deal with the arrival of the Covid19 virus which seems keen to stay with us. Scientists tells us that the virus is likely to be a permanent part of our lives now and into the future. This will have an effect on so many ways we relate to life and to one another.
At the commercial crossroads of the world, Corinth was a melting pot of all the pagan cults of that time. Now we are a melting pot of different cultures and faiths or no faith at all. Perhaps we can learn how to deal with the increasing variety of our society now – with its many cultures, many faiths, many with no faith. There is much to learn from our past. Tension is part of living and so we should not be too afraid of tensions today. There are those who wish to be rigid and those who want to be more flexible in their relationships. Paul encourages them to go about their usual responsibilities in life with one eye always fixed on the Lord’s word which is further shown to us in Luke’s gospel for today. As the old saying goes: “What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander”. All I have to do is follow the example of Jesus and Apostles such as Paul.
The task of the disciple, that is you and me, is to put into action in our own lives the spirit of Jesus. The first beatitude reminds us that we are creature, and that life is the great gift of God to us. At the heart of Jesus’ teaching is the love of one’s enemies that draws on God’s graciousness a compassion for all humanity. So, the love of our “neighbour” will always be marked by forgiveness and generosity. This will be our response to life in all its changes and will prepare us to embrace whatever our changing future will bring to us.
Fr. Kevin Dance CP is the vicar of the St.Brigid’s Retreat, Marrickville. He is very actively involved in ministries locally and at Passionist International where he served as the Executive Director for many years.